CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state’s biggest outdoors get together happens this weekend at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center. The 33rd West Virginia Hunting and Fishing Show is slated for Friday-Sunday and features an array of outdoors related goods and services which will appeal to a range of people.
“All of our booths are sold out and we have over 200 vendors and outfitters here,” said Glen Jarrell with the West Virginia Trophy Hunters Association, the organization which puts on the show every year.
“They’re from South Africa, Canada, all the western states are represented, fishing captains from the Great Lakes, it’s all here,” he added.
The show originated from the idea of a group of guys who often visited similar shows in other states and believed West Virginai would be an ideal location for such an undertaking. The first show was held at the Raleigh County Armory in Beckley. Although it was a success, members knew for the show to grow and prosper it needed to be moved to Charleston. The following year it was put on at what was then the Charleston Civic Center and has become one of the most attended events of any show put on at the facility year in and year out.
Many of the vendors return year after year, a sure sign of the success of the show, but Jarrell adds they always add new vendors and new attractions. This year the newest item will include the release of a bald eagle by the West Virginia Raptor Rehabilitation Center.
“It was wounded and it’s now been rehabbed and we’re going to release it on Saturday about 11:00,” he explained.
The release will take place on the banks off the Elk River right next to the Convention Center.
Sunday will include a visit by West Virginia Mountaineer Tim Eads, a native of Buffalo, West Virginia. He’ll be on hand for pictures and autographs with WVU fans.
Winfield native Frankie Addington will be back for a second year with two shows Friday, two on Saturday, and one Sunday. Addington’s shows feature amazing archery shooting, from behind the back at targets the size of a baby aspirin, along with inspirational discussion, particular for children in the audience.
West Virginia Outdoors will originate live from the floor of the show floor during its regular time slot Saturday morning at 7:06 a.m. on the Metronews Radio Network. There will also be a special three hour edition of West Virginia Outdoors from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday on MetroNews Flagship Station, 580-WCHS.